Israel extends condolences to Egypt, urges united front against terrorism – Israel News

Relatives of victims reacts after a church explosion killed at least 21 in Tanta, Egypt, April 9, 2017.
(photo credit:REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement on Sunday extending Israel’s condolences to Egypt and the victims of a deadly blast that occurred earlier in the day at a Coptic church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta.

“The world must unite and fight against terrorism everywhere,” read the statement.

In addition, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely condemned the incident as a terrorist attack, saying it served as a reminder that Egypt is also under attack by terrorists.

Death toll in Egypt church bombing reaches 21, 50 injured – state television (credit: REUTERS)

Hotovely, in the first Israeli response to the Palm Sunday attack, said that terrorism does not stop at Stockholm, St, Petersburg, Berlin, London and Jerusalem.

“Alongside the sadness and the mourning, we must unite forces with an iron fist against the Axis of Evil and terrorism,” she said. “Israel is a partner in the fight against terror everywhere it hits and will extend a hand in order to wipe it out.”

At least 25 were killed and 60 injured in the bombing at the Coptic church in Tanta. Hours later, a suicide bomber killed at least two people and injured 21 in front of a church in Alexandria, Egyptian state television said.

Egyptians gather in front of a Coptic church that was bombed on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt, April 9, 2017 (Reuters)

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks that occurred just one week before Coptic Easter and the same month that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt, was not known.

The apparent bombings came as Islamic State’s branch in Egypt appears to be stepping up attacks on Christians and threatening them in messages blasted out to followers.

Egypt’s Christian community has felt increasingly insecure since Islamic State spread through Iraq and Syria in 2014, ruthlessly targeting religious minorities. In 2015, 21 Egyptian Christians working in Libya were killed by Islamic State.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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